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Breathe. Relax. Breathe.

Life is hard.

We have many demands, deadlines, and responsibilities… work, children, chores, and more.

The need to complete all of this daily may provoke stress and or anxiety.

Stress and anxiety develops over time when we feel we do not have enough time or control to complete all that we have to do.

The buildup of stress and anxiety may affect your emotional and physical health.

Stop and take a break for a moment from thinking about all of your hard work…your work is not going anywhere…it will still be there. I promise.

Focus on how to reduce your stress and anxiety when feeling overwhelmed.

First, calm yourself with deep, slow breaths.

Count to four while inhaling and exhaling each breath.

Not sure how to do this, seek help from this app.

Second, relax your body.

You cannot relax if your body is tense and stiff.

So, close your eyes and focus on each body part producing tension…tense and relax each muscle group.

For step by step tips on how to relax your body, click here.

If you are still feeling stressed, try to unwind by imagining or looking at beautiful, serene images.

Imagery can help you to escape your stressors and refocus.

Third, breathe.

Breathe to calm down and remind yourself that you are in control.

Yes, life is hard work, but it does not have to control you.

You control the work.

Take time for yourself.

Breathe. Relax. Breathe.

Tracy Cooper is a licensed professional counselor and the co-owner of Fit Therapy of Texas, where she helps families, kids, parents, couples, and individuals to reach their goals. She knows that stress is prevalent with parents, when parents can slow down, use coping skills such as relaxation and positive imagery exercises, anxiety and stress typically reduce.

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